An almost complete Tyrannosaurus skeleton, one of the greatest dinosaurs of the Cretaceous era, was sold for just over $1 million on May 20 to an anonymous bidder, by Dallas-based Heritage Auctions Inc., as part of the company's Natural History auction.
The Tyrannosaurus, measuring eight-foot tall and 24-foot long, roamed in what is now Central Asia in the Cretaceous period, around 80 million years ago, and is the slightly smaller Asian counterpart to the legendary North American T-Rex.
However, the sale is not without controversy as it is subject to resolution of a Texas state court proceeding. The exact amount for which the fossil was sold for is $1,052,500.
A "Temporary Restraining Order" was issued by the Honorable Carlos Cortez, a Dallas, Texas district court judge, Saturday morning after the Mongolian government filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Mongolian president, His Excellency Elbegdorj Tsakhia, enjoining the sale, and released a statement 48 hours before the auction suggesting the Tyrannosaurus fossil belonged to their country.
Defending the auction, Greg Rohan, President of Heritage Auctions, said that they hold clear title to the fossils and that the Mongolian government has not produced any evidence to prove that the specimen originated in its territory.
Note that the fossil of Sue, the Tyrannosaur Rex, auctioned by Sotheby's in 1996, was not as complete as the current specimen auctioned by Heritage. Sue fetched more than $8 million at the auction.
by RTT Staff Writer
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